Today is a sad day. Today we say good bye to Carrie Fisher.
We all heard the news a few days ago about her heart attack. I think it’s fair to say we all thought “Not another one. Not Carrie Fisher.” We probably all gave a collective sigh of relief when it seemed she would be alright. Alas it was not to be.
Carrie Fisher is most famously remembered for her role as Princess Leia Organa in Star Wars, but she had many other roles besides that. She appeared in The Blues Brothers, Soapdish, When Harry Met Sally and Drop Dead Fred, just to name a few. Her characters were strong, witty and intelligent. Much like herself. She was more than just an actress though. She was a writer (of both books and screenplays) a comedienne, an activist. And she did them all with her trademark sarcasm that was part of what made her so endearing. She wasn’t afraid to poke fun at herself.
She, like many of us, struggled with different issues in her life, Drug addiction and mental health issues being chief among them. Despite them, or perhaps even because of them, she became a spokesperson for those dealing with these same issues. But not just a spokesperson, because you knew that she had first hand knowledge of what she was talking about. She KNEW exactly what it was like. That gave her an authenticity, and I think, an authority that a lot of others don’t have.
She also did it with a great deal of humour and sarcasm. She made people laugh about it and that made the topics easier to deal with.
The characters she played embodied aspects of herself. That of courage, determination, friendship and care for others. More than that her portrayal of Princess Leia taught a whole generation of young girls, that you could be a smart, kick arse, no nonsense hero, and still be sexy and feminine. Characters like that, and the people who portray them, help shape the world we live in. We have so much to be thankful for, because of Carrie Fisher and others like her. A lot of people bagged out her appearance in The Force Awakens. Yes she was older, yes there were grey hairs there. But you only had to look at her face, See her eyes, to know, that there was intelligence and authority and power in that person. She carried that character with dignity and strength. She was still kick arse. She was still the boss. She was still Leia.
I for one will miss her presence. We now have to wait till some time late next year before Star Wars Episode VIII comes out. That will be our last chance to see this wonderful woman perform for us. I look forward to that, in a bittersweet way.